Understanding Car Insurance Policies & Features | comparethemarket.com
man and woman

A simples guide

Understanding car insurance policies & features

When you buy or renew your car insurance, you’ll notice a number of different features you can opt for. To ensure you get the right cover, it’s worth knowing a bit about them.


Here’s a quick guide to the 8 most common features you’ll come across. 

car bow image

No claims discount protection

For every year you drive without making a claim, you get a no claims discount (which some call a ‘no claims bonus’). As it signifies you’re a safe driver, it can give a discount off your insurance.

But as soon as you have to make a claim where your insurer pays out, you’ll lose some or all of it. Which is a bit of a blow.

However, if you have no claims bonus protection, your no claims bonus is, well, protected. You can get it once you’ve accrued 3-4 years of no claims, and it lets you keep your discount even if you do have to make a claim.

what is no claims discount protection

Motor legal protection (or legal cover as it’s also known)

This covers the cost of legal action resulting from a claim you make on your car insurance. Including it in your policy can start from around £20 a year.

It also covers things which otherwise wouldn’t be included, like:

  • medical costs for injury to you or your passengers
  • damage to your car (if you don’t have a fully comp policy)
  • excess you have to pay after a crash that wasn’t your fault
what is motor legal protection

Breakdown Cover

At its most basic, breakdown cover means your car can be fixed on the side of the road, or taken to a local garage. It’s worth considering this cover as recovery companies may charge additional call-out charges if you need saving and if you’re not already a member.

Find out more about the different types here.

what is breakdown cover

Personal accident cover (or personal injury cover)

If you’re in an accident and you can’t claim from someone else, personal injury will offer compensation. It’s generally capped at £5,000 on standard policies, but can go up to £100,000. 

what is personal accident cover

Personal effects

If your personal belongings are damaged or stolen from your car, this add on will pay a set amount to help you replace them. Your car will need to have been locked and your items kept out of sight in the boot or a locked glove box for this cover to kick in. 

what is personal effects cover

Courtesy car

If you use your car to get work, or don’t have access to public transport, a courtesy car feature could be useful. It provides a replacement vehicle from your insurer if you can’t use yours after an accident.

There are different levels of cover, from your car being repaired, to stolen, or even completely written off.

Typically the car usually offered is a 3-door 1 litre hatchback. 

what is a courtesy car

Windscreen cover

 You’d be forgiven for thinking repairs to your windscreen would be covered on your standard policy. Unfortunately they’re not always, so it might be useful to consider extra cover to pay out if your windscreen needs fixing or replacing.

It’s sometimes included on fully comp policies, but getting separate cover means you can make a claim without impacting your no claims bonus.


what is windscreen cover

Driving abroad

This add on covers you if, well, you’re driving abroad. While all policies will give some cover by law on European roads, even fully comp will be downgraded to the minimum level required by the country you’re in.

An EU extension covers you to drive at the same level as your policy in the UK. If you’re heading further afield, you’ll need to contact your insurer to discuss your requirements. 

can I drive abroad on my car insurance

Looking for a Quote?

Compare car insurances in minutes to see if you can save

Get a quote